Contraceptives for fifteen year olds…but strictly on parental or guardian consent

Sithembiso Mabhena

WHEN condom distribution at schools failed after parents had mixed feelings about it, some mothers took it upon themselves to protect their sexually active girls from having unwanted pregnancies.

It is reported that girls aged 15 are the ones taking the lead in using different methods of contraceptives.

The report came out during a sports gala at Makokoba suburb which was organised by DREAMS.

DREAMS is National Aids Council initiative meant to reduce HIV among girls and women aged between 15-24.

A nurse at the Population Services of Zimbabwe Sithembiso Mabhena revealed they only provided their services to teenagers below 18 when they came in the company of their guardians.

“Nowadays we have girls who are already sexually active at the age of 15. Some of their parents have seen it fit for them to start using contraceptives.

“We only administer birth control methods after getting clearance from their mothers and most of them go for long-term methods such as implant so they proceed with their education without any disturbances,” said Mabhena.

She further revealed that there are some girls who have tried their luck without the approval of their parents, but they always turn them away.

“We do not administer contraceptive methods to teenagers who come alone. All the time we need parents’ approval,” she added.

Speaking to parents who were queuing for PSZ services with their teenage daughters, they all agreed that these days it is not embarrassing to have your teenage daughter on contraceptives.

“These girls become sexually active when they are still young so as parents the only way we can show our support is to clear them to use contraceptives,” said one woman only identified as Primrose Masumbika.

Another parent said the fear of having her 15-year-old girl pregnant forced her to have the girl put the three-year implant.

When the nurse provider was asked if early contraceptives did not have long time side effects, she said it all depends with an individual, but they did not know of any.